Japan and Saori no Mori
Japan. Although I’ve been there many times it just reveals more of its many layers in small increments, bit by bit. It is so different and yet so familiar too. I spent a week at the Saori head office at Saori no Mori and still learnt more about their approach to weaving cloth. It is so enlightening and encouraging.
A couple of highlights, firstly meeting Terri from Saori Salt Spring after all these years, Laura from Saori Studio LA and Merrilee from Canada. Then a design class with Masako. She is the master designer behind the Saori clothing books and the way she takes your woven cloth and lets it speak about how it should be stitched into a garment is wonderful. It re-enforces the idea that we shouldn’t weave to create this or that particular garment or cloth but to just weave. Leave holes, weave extensions, criss cross and just enjoy the whole process. Keep going with it.
Having said that I haven’t put shuttle to loom since I’ve arrived home, with catching up on orders etc. and getting myself back together again. Hopefully I will soon. But life can easily get in the way of the best plans.
Another highlight was the meeting of the Vegas Saori group. This is a group of weavers who meet every month to work on a theme then weave and produce garments for their next meet. These are really extraordinary designs in both cloth and cut. Each time I see their work it astounds me. It isn’t conventional or ‘tight’. It’s adventurous and bold. I even got to try a coat on. Dave, my husband, also comes with me and wove for the week too. He wove 9 metres of fabric and claims he only weaves in Japan. But I’ve noticed since we’ve come home that cashmere interests him and he has mentioned weaving something with it…he must have very fine tastes!
Hiromi at Saori no Mori is another inspiration. She weaves glorious fabric, designs and creates clothing and teaches us.
I guess I’ve never gotten over being able to walk into a studio filled with looms , activity and excitement around handweaving. Not a common site at all in Australia. The excitement and wonder that handweaving generates is something special in my view and I’m happy that I find it at workshops in my own studio. Keep weaving.